The Town of Amherst’s former composting facility is trying to make a go of it under private ownership.
But the new proprietor shouldn’t count on any help from the town, after seeking permission to charge residents a fee.
Clarence-based C.J. Krantz Topsoil Inc. – which purchased the facility from Amherst two years ago for nearly $1.3 million – has come back to the town asking for a change to the original contract.
Under the agreement, Krantz is obligated to accept yard waste free of charge from Amherst residents, town departments and Modern Disposal, the town’s trash hauler.
But now the company wants to charge residents a $5 fee to drop off their yard waste at the facility on Smith Road.
And the Amherst Town Board quickly shot down that request, which was sent by letter.
“I’m totally against it,” said Council Member Guy R. Marlette. “This was the deal he signed up for.”
Amherst – which was losing money on the composting facility – sold the property, building and equipment to Krantz in 2012. The sale absolved the municipality of roughly $300,000 in annual expenses while still giving it a site to dump its yard waste for free.
After nearly two years under private ownership, business has been fair to good, but some additional income would help improve the facility’s long-term viability, said owner Tim Krantz.
Town departments and Modern Disposal still would be able to dump yard waste at the site for free, but residents would be charged $5 when they drop off yard waste on their own. That would help offset the cost to staff the facility, Krantz said.
“Those that don’t want to pay five bucks can wait until the town picks it up,” Krantz said.
Supervisor Barry A. Weinstein sent a notice to Krantz explaining that the town isn’t interested in altering the contract.
Krantz said he plans to approach the town more formally on the matter early next year.